Results tagged ‘ Marlon Byrd ’

Message from Marlon

Marlon Byrd

From The Byrd’s Nest:

Thanks for the get well messages. I’ll be OK and come back playing as hard as ever!

– Marlon

Wishing one of our own a speedy recovery

Marlon Byrd and Matt Garza

Marlon Byrd is greeted by Matt Garza at the Cubs dugout. (Photo by Stephen Green)

The entire Cubs family wishes Marlon Byrd the best in his recovery from facial fractures suffered in Saturday night’s game at Fenway Park. Byrd was struck on his left eye by a fastball and was taken immediately to a local hospital. Cubs media relations passes on word that the outfielder, who was seen in the clubhouse after last night’s game with his eye swollen shut, will be evaluated in Chicago throughout the week. The team has put him on the 15-day disabled list.

We hope you’ll leave your well wishes here or on Byrd’s MLBlog, The Byrd’s Nest. The Cubs’ front office Twitter feed, @CubsInsider, sent along the following message yesterday:

#Cubs fans: Marlon Byrd wants to thank you all for your thoughts and prayers in the past couple days.
5/22/11 10:44 PM

Now Playing: The Stat Pack

The Stat Pack video

Click image to play “The Stat Pack.”

Set in Arizona’s beautiful Hotel Valley Ho, five Cubs talk about the statistical keys to the 2011 season. Subscribers already saw the stunning photography by Stephen Green in the April issue of Vine Line, and now you can watch the high-energy video on Features interviews with Kerry Wood, Carlos Peña, Ryan Dempster, Marlon Byrd and Andrew Cashner. Don’t miss it.

Byrd flying high among the stars


Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for INSIDE THE IVY LOGO.jpgHe couldn’t wipe the smile off his face the entire time during batting practice.

Even though he was the last guy get his cuts in during BP, Cubs centerfielder Marlon Byrd didn’t care. He was in a red carpet parade earlier in the day. He watched David Ortiz win the Home Run Derby last night. Even when the grounds crew was breaking down the cage and rolling up the tarp that protected the field, Byrd got four 10 swings in and that was enough.

2010  All-Star Game 003small.jpg“It’s a dream come true,” Byrd said, a first-time All-Star who was voted in by his peers. “You think about this when you’re a little kid–making the All-Star team. Now I’ve done it. But I’m just happy to be here. I’m just following everyone else. It’s just an honor to be around all these great guys.”

But Byrd, whose baseball acumen might even outweigh his baseball skills, has been known to help out teammates with small nuggets of advice. This season, he made a couple of Cubs pitchers aware that they were tipping pitches.

He picked up this skill while with Philadelphia. And in Anaheim, the chance to closely watch opponents is a rare opportunity to scout and improve his own swing.

2010  All-Star Game 002small.jpg“I’m paying attention here,” Byrd said. “I’m watching [the Brewers’] Corey Hart during the Home Run Derby and seeing how he’s keeping his hands down now….I saw [the Marlins’] Hanley [Ramirez] circling his hands down, too. So I’m trying to piece together my swing with theirs now.

“But you’re alwasy trying to improve, and what better way to do that than to be around the best?”

He patiently waited until the bottom of the fifth inning, when he was inserted into the lineup, replacing Hart in centerfield.

In the bottom of the sixth, Byrd nearly made a spectacular diving catch off an Elvis Andrus pop fly in shallow right-centerfield. The effort was applauded by the all-star crowd of 40,408, but Cubs fans know Byrd has been making catches and offering like that all season. And that’s why his peers voted him in.

In the top of the seventh, going against lefty reliever Matt Thornton from the crosstown rival White Sox, Byrd coaxes a walk then scores sliding on a double by Atlanta catcher Brian McCann.

Byrd isn’t taking anything for granted. Despite being a highly touted prospect in the Phillies organization, Byrd struggled through the first several years in his pro career, wandering through a couple of teams before finding rebirth in Texas and continued success with the Cubs.

“It’s crazy, when you first get drafted you think you’re going to the majors right away,” Byrd said. “Then you make an all-star team in the minors and you think you’re going to be a big-league All-Star, but you don’t realize how tough it is. It wasn’t an easy road for me so I really appreciate it. Never in my wildest dreams the last couple of years did I ever think I’d be here playing in the All-Star Game.”

–Michael Huang



1000 Words: Byrd Man


Team photographer Stephen Green sent along this photo of Marlon Byrd stirring up a flock of seagulls last week.

1000 WORDS LOGO.jpgSometimes, when you have a name like Byrd’s, the photos just set themselves up.

See more photo galleries from the lens of Stephen Green at the Vine Line home page on Also, don’t forget to lock in your Cubs tickets for the month of May, including Family Sundays where kids can run the bases with the purchase of four tickets.

1000 Words: The early Byrd catches the worm

042810 Byrd M circus catch.JPG

Early nominee for top defensive play of the season?

Cubs team photographer Stephen Green captured Marlon Byrd’s circus catch in centerfield yesterday afternoon. Byrd had lost the ball in the sun, fell to his knees, turned his back, all while keeping his glove in the perfect spot for the no-look basket catch.

Thumbnail image for 1000 WORDS LOGO.jpgWant to see more photos like this one, printed at poster size? Subscribe to
Vine Line today by visiting our all-new landing page on And lock in your Cubs tickets today, including for this “Family Sunday” where kids are invited to run the bases after the game.

Fill up the Cup! Sponsored by BP

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for INSIDE THE IVY LOGO.jpgOn Monday morning, executives from both Chicago baseball teams unveiled the annual Crosstown Cup, sponsored by BP, at the Cloud Gate of Millennium Park. It was the perfect neutral site for such a partisan event.

From the North Side, on hand were Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts, manager Lou Piniella, Cubs President Crane Kenney, Chief Marketing Officer Wally Hayward and Cubs players Marlon Byrd and Randy Wells.

From South Side, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Brooks Boyer, White Sox players Gordon Beckham and AJ Pierzynski were on hand. WGN on-air personality Dave Kaplan emceed the event.

BP logo small.JPG“It gives [the city of Chicago] two weekends where everyone is just focused on baseball,” Ricketts said.

The previous Crosstown Classic now will be known as the BP Crosstown Cup. Under these new rules, the team with the most wins in the yearly series will be formally awarded the rivalry’s namesake trophy. If the annual series is split 3-3, the BP Crosstown Cup will be awarded to the winner of the series’ last game.

“I’ve been here three years, so I know what this series means to the city of Chicago that has such great sports fans,” Piniella said. “Obviously my focus is winning games on the field, but it’s going to be hard not to think about winning that cup for the first time.”

Here’s a trio of photos from yesterday:

Lou Bean.JPG

Lou Piniella in front of the “Bean”

Tom Ricketts Cup presser.JPG Tom Ricketts and Randy Wells mug for staff photographer Steve Green.

byrd cup presser.JPG

Marlon, we know it’s a bit brisk, but a parka? You better get used to Chicago springs! 

  –Mike Huang

News and notes from Mesa

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for ON LOCATION LOGO.jpg   Just some observations around Hohokam Park today, the first day after the big-league camp moved over from Fitch Park:

–Watched former Rule 5 pick David Patton throw live BP. His got a great breaking ball as most people know, but he had a couple guys turn on him and line singles into right-center.

–Cubs fans filtered into the stadium to watch the team practice. The team is very loose, but the level of camaraderie is as good as it was last year. While much has been made about Milton Bradley’s presence on the team, last year during spring training no one had a problem with him. He was participatory and welcomed.

Marlon Byrd, a friend of Bradley’s, has assimilated nicely into the clubhouse. In fact, he has been quite vocal laughing and smiling, further increasing the fun quotient. During BP, he was working on hitting to the opposite field where Ryan Theriot was manning second. The BP pitcher–I think it was Alan Trammell–pitched faster and more frequently, Byrd kept shooting line drives to Theriot. Theriot kept diving and getting up, diving and getting up, snagging them all until Byrd finally got one past the goalie. But Theriot earned a nice hand from the crowd, while eliciting a big “whoo!” from Byrd.

Aramis Ramirez and Starlin Castro had their fun turning double plays. Castro, a quiet, easy going kid, was all smiles taking throws from “shortstop” Ramirez. But Ramirez showed his shoulder was in top condition when he snagged a liner that was about a foot above his head. That also earned a double take from teammates.

–Another person who earned double takes from teammates was young right-hander Rafael Dolis. The team was just filtering out for stretching while Dolis was throwing early live BP to a group of hitters that included No. 1 pick Brett Jackson. Standing next to Mike Fontenot, he asked what level he was at. I told him Dolis had dealt with some injuries, but I’d lay odds he’s going to be in Class-A Daytona or better. You didn’t need to be a ballplayer to see just how hard Dolis threw. A little buzz raced through the growing impromptu audience. Dolis’ “heavy” ball made a loud thud every time. The audience got a huge “Ohhh!” when Dolis broke Jackson’s bat. Sawed him off right at the handle.

Later, Jackson came by me and said, “Look at that, Mike. Well, that one ain’t coming back.” And he threw down the broken bat in disgust.

–Mike Huang

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